If you are the parent of a teenager, then you know that their eyes and hands are constantly glued to their smartphones. It’s just the world we live in now.
But a teen’s addiction to their phone becomes a huge problem when they’re behind the wheel. You need to their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, not texting Stacy or Jimmy about their plans for the weekend.
“According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of injury related crashes in 2015 were caused by distracted driving,” says Thomas Bumgardner, an attorney with the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC. “Those numbers are scary, but the scariest part is that distracted driving crashes are under-reported, so the actual number is probably much higher.”
We don’t want your child to become a part of that statistic, so we put together tips on how to keep your teenager from texting and driving.
Tip #1: Talk To Your Teenager
It’s important to have a family discussion about texting and driving. You can’t assume that your teenager knows how dangerous it is, because let’s be honest, many teens believe they’re invincible.
Talk to your child about the dangers and how important it is to you that they’re focused while driving.
Tip #2: Set Rules With Consequences
During the discussion, set up rules for when they’re driving. Let them know that if you catch them or find out that they were texting and driving then they have the car taken away for a certain amount of time. Maybe even add in that they can’t have their friends drive them if they lose their car privileges.
Nothing will scare a teenager more than having their car being taken away and having to rely on you to take them to see their friends.
Tip #3: Know North Carolina and South Carolina’s Texting Laws
In both North Carolina and South Carolina, texting while driving is illegal. You will want to remind you teenager that they can get in serious trouble with the police if they are caught texting while driving.
Tip #4: Get an App
Thankfully, there is are apps like TextLimit that allow you to shut off texting when a car reaches a certain speed.
AT&T Drive Mode is an app that turns off texting at 25 mph. It will also alert you if your teen decides to delete the app off of their phone.
If you’re an iPhone family, then you can put your teenager’s phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode when they’re driving.
Here are the steps to take to enable it:
- Go Settings and hit the Do Not Disturb option
- Scroll to the bottom of the Do Not Disturb page
- You will see there is are three options to activate the Do Not Disturb while driving. You can choose Automatically, When Connected to Car Bluetooth or Manually
- To make sure they don’t disable this option, use iPhone’s Parental Controls to prevent them from turning it off
Tip #5: Scare Them
We know that the last thing you want to do is scare your child, but sometimes it’s the best way to get through to them.
TeenSafe has a collection of distracted driving PSAs that reveal the true dangers of distracted driving. Showing them the reality and consequences of distracted driving will make them think twice about picking up their phone while driving.
Tip #6: Practice What You Preach
Most importantly, you need to make sure that you are not texting while driving as well. You must lead by example and not make any phone calls or text while your driving.
If your teen sees you texting while driving then that dismisses any arguments you make about safe driving behavior.
Here at the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC, we always want to put you and your family first. Clients come to us for legal representation in personal injury, family and traffic law. Book an appointment with us and we will figure out the best course of legal action for you and your family. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (704) 870-4779.